Customer Review

419 of 426 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is exciting, October 1, 2008
This review is from: Sony PS-LX300USB USB Stereo Turntable (Black) (Electronics)
I would have given this 5 stars with a little better instructions on set up. It assumes a knowledge of stereo components that I don't have. But as it is I've fumbled along by trial and error and I'm getting incredible results.

My LP collection has been in the basement for the last 23 years. Frankly I assumed those records were ruined. I never had good stereo equipment or fresh needles, and I never treated them with more than casual care. However, I dragged them up to make a list of what MP3 tracks I'd like to buy and to my amazement I found that I had huge collections with songs that have never been digitalized. I also found that some of these old LPs are only available at astronomical prices. So I decided to try digitalizing my old LPs using the Sony PS-LX300 USB.

Before playing my first record, I spent a day on-line looking at the options for cleaning vinyl records. Spending hundreds of dollars on a disc cleaning system for records that I assumed were about ruined was out of the question. I settled for the RCA Discwasher for $14.95, even though reviews claimed it was vastly inferior to the old product (which sells at auction for well over $50.00). I also looked at the DIY options of washing vinyl records, but what I read indicated that drying was as important as getting a cleaner into the grooves and the RCA Discwasher brush was supposed to serve this function of both cleaning and drying.

I hooked the Sony turntable up to my Dell Laptop so I could keep working on my desktop computer while recording. The Sony turntable comes with a USB connection and also RCA cables (which are very short). The turntable comes with a switch to choose either Line or Phono. I presume from the combo offered above that you could also attach the RCA cables to speakers purchased separately to listen while recording through the USB option. I have a DAK Mixer Interface (which I never figured out) so I hooked the RCA cables into that and tried plugging their stereo mini plug into my laptop input line, but my first pass did not produce sound on the final recording -- no doubt I had to change some settings on my input line. So instead I just plugged headphones into the DAK mixer to listen while recording using the USB option.

For USB recording, I had to go into my control panel and change my Sound|Recording options, but that those steps were well spelled out on page 11 of the Sony turntable manual. I'm sure with more fiddling around I can figure out how to get sound through my laptop while recording, but it's working just fine for me with headphones.

Then I thoroughly cleaned my first LP -- an old favorite I purchsed in 1961 and played to death over the next 20 years. I cleaned it a total of three separate times, assuming it was very dirty, following the directions carefully. As I pushed the start button on the Sony, I was amazed at the quality of sound coming through the headphones. I expected to hear mostly hisses and pops with a little music thrown in. I couldn't believe the quality of that old LP after cleaning. There was some cracking but mainly it was noticeable between tracks.

I used the default settings on the SoundForce Audio Studio for "Vinyl Recording and Restoration" and these pops and crackles were almost eliminated in the final product.

Right now my recordings are coming through as one track (which they mention can happen with some old LPs) but the software has a good help section which includes how to go back and separate the tracks. I'll be working through that later this morning. But right now I have my first two records digitilized with a sound quality I never believed possible. I am thrilled beyond belief and looking forward to listening to hours more of my old treasures as I compile them into a digitilized collection.

As a final note, I always scoffed at those who said that records had a warmth that is missing from CDs. I figured that only audio snobs with expensive equipment could tell a difference since I was quite pleased with my CDs and iPod music. But as I listen to my old LPs I am aware of exactly what they mean. There is an intimacy and depth of sound that is missing from CDs. Amazing to think that such an old technology can hold up so well, even on ill-used records that are over 45 years old.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 13, 2008 12:51:16 PM PST
JM says:
Why didn't you just use the DAK equalizer with your turntable and plug into your PC? DAK says it can do it all with your own turntable.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 3, 2010 1:05:04 PM PST
Susan says:
Despite the detailed how-to on the DAK site, I admit to the same problem of "getting it to work" ... and am still looking for the best way to convert Lp to CD ...

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2010 2:25:08 PM PDT
Have you come up with a good way to transfer music from vinyl records to the computer so you can burn it to cd's? Clarence

Posted on Jan 2, 2011 7:07:30 PM PST
Ryan K. Fry says:
well it looks like the vinyl-to-computer signal flow isn't as clear cut as it should be - personally I've managed to master the recording process except for one flaw: all of the recordings come through with the exact same sound in both channels which essentially makes them mono. it should also be noted, though, that in my case I have to use an additional cable which combines the two phono jacks into a single jack as my stereo does not have phono inputs, just a line-in
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